Donate now

Christmas tree chipping raises £1300 at Whitstable RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Firs 'flew' into the chipping machine at a rate of knots, as dozens of Christmas trees arrived at Whitstable lifeboat station on Sunday morning to be chipped in aid of the station’s funds raising £1300 in the process.

The RNLI's Stormy Stan joined Whitstable lifeboat station crew members and volunteers with Alex Bird and his team during the Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

The RNLI's Stormy Stan joined Whitstable lifeboat station crew members and volunteers with Alex Bird and his team during the Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.
They arrived in cars with many on roof racks, in vans, on trolleys or just dragged by hand, and even four large ones came on a lorry, as families and groups came to bid farewell to the season’s centrepieces to aid the cause of 'Saving Lives at Sea'. The RNLI's 'Stormy Stan' the Lifeboat Man was on hand to oversee operations.

Whitstable RNLI's Kellie Gray said, “For the second year running, again with the generous assistance of tree surgeons A. Bird Ltd, we held a Christmas tree chipping day outside the boathouse. Although there were slightly fewer trees chipped, we had an excellent response to the scheme, with a steady stream of arrivals from 10.00 am”.

“Alex Bird and his team had their two chipping machines running almost non-stop for three hours and, as last year, it provided a spectacle for passers-by and families bidding farewell to their trees.”

Alex Bird, Proprietor of A. Bird Ltd, said, “We were kept busy with trees of all sizes but the arrival of a large lorry from Bill Cordes Horticultural with four of the trees he supplied to WhitSparkle was quite a sight and, as last year, the day was most enjoyable. I am delighted that for a second year running we have been able raise funds for the RNLI, in addition to the chipping session held at Macknade Fine Foods on Saturday, which helped raise funds for the Pilgrims Hospice.”

Notes to Editors.

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/ [email protected]

  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 [email protected]

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789


The RNLI's Stormy Stan helped with the Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

The RNLI's Stormy Stan helped with the Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.
Oscar Wayment, six, hands his tree over to lifeboat crewmember Ollie Myhill and Alex Bird during the Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Oscar Wayment, six, hands his tree over to lifeboat crewmember Ollie Myhill and Alex Bird during the Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.
Bluebell, five and Jasmine, nine with parents Roxy and Dominic Everson bade farewell to their tree at the Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Bluebell, five and Jasmine, nine with parents Roxy and Dominic Everson bade farewell to their tree at the Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.
The A. Bird Ltd team at the Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

The A. Bird Ltd team at the Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.
The Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

The Whitstable lifeboat Christmas tree chipping session outside the boathouse on Sunday.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

Categories